NYC couple raising hens in apartment

Oct. 2, 2011 at 5:38 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A New York City couple are raising chickens in their one-bedroom apartment as a way of eating local in a city with little green space.

Robert McMinn, 45, and Jules Corkery, 45, collect about two eggs a week from each of their three hens living in their Queens apartment, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

"I don't think it's the ideal situation," said McMinn, who began raising chickens in Idaho in 2003, but "they're cute. They're fun to [watch] run around. They're excited when we come home.

"A chicken can save you money. It's a cheap hobby, and it improves your gardening," said McMinn, who doesn't recommend raising them indoors. "You get the eggs and they're delicious."

McMinn and Corkery give lectures at local libraries and urban gardens on the advantages of chicken-keepings.

"Urban chickening is an environmentally sound practice," said Joanne King, a Queens Library spokeswoman. "It's part of the local food movement and organic eggs are very tasty and healthy."

Owen Taylor, the city farms manager at Just Food, a local food group, said hundreds of people are keeping chickens in the city.

"People are realizing they need to eat fresher, higher-quality food," he said. "And you can't get any fresher or higher quality than your back yard."

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